SPRINGFIELD, December 1, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The Illinois Supreme Court agreed yesterday to hear a case that will decide the fate of the state’s Parental Notice Act, a 1995 law requiring that parents must be told if their minor child seeks an abortion.
According to a statement from the Thomas More Society, a pro-life group of attorneys, the court will have to decide whether the law violates the state’s constitution. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which has fought the law in both state and federal court, is arguing that the Illinois Constitution guarantees the right to an abortion.
Thus far, the ACLU has been successful in preventing enforcement of the law throughout most of its 15 year history.
According to prominent pro-life activist Joe Schiedler, a glance at the license plates in an abortion clinic parking lot reveals that Illinois remains a refuge for out-of-state teens seeking an abortion.
“This is a dumping ground for other states,” Schiedler told the Catholic News Agency after a judge issued a restraining order in 2009 that effectively overturned a decision by The Illinois Medical Disciplinary Board and the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation to begin enforcing the Act.
Paul Linton, Special Counsel for the Thomas More Society, says that the Supreme Court’s decision to hear the state’s appeal is a positive development.
“The Illinois Supreme Court’s action ensures that there will be a prompt resolution of the law’s constitutionality, and we believe that the high Court will uphold the law,” he said.
“Similar laws in other States have been associated with significant declines in the numbers of out-of-wedlock pregnancies, births, and abortions among minors,” he continued. “The United States Supreme Court has repeatedly recognized the vital interests that States have in protecting pregnant minors and the rights of their parents to provide guidance and counsel in this very sensitive area.”